Karpov’s Chess Confession

The Russian grandmaster admits that he found it boring to study chess openings.
  • Transcript


Question: What are your weaknesses as a player?

Anatoly Karpov: Weaknesses?  So, I didn’t know so well chess theory, the theory of chess openings.  And so, of course I knew the theory, but not on the level of the best players, so this was my... this was always my weakness.  But this is you know, this is weakness and this is advantage because if I would know Chess theory so well, so probably I would not work out this style to defend difficult positions because from my childhood I could receive difficult positions against even weaker players, but okay nothing happened, so I was continuing to fight.  And so this is weakness, this is positive thing, but still more this is weakness.  It is better to know Chess Theory and not to get in difficult positions from the beginning. 

Why didn’t you study chess openings?

Anatoly Karpov: So, it was boring to study this, so people consider that it is boring to study end games, but for me it was more boring to study openings and then also I didn’t want to play when I know everything till almost 25 or 30. I wanted to create something over the board.

Recorded on May 17, 2010
Interviewed by Paul Hoffman